If you’ve got a hankering for legally shooting a Bigfoot, your chance may come ‘sooner’ that you think in Oklahoma, where a state representative has filed a bill calling for the creation of a Bigfoot hunting season. Is this the most important thing on the legislative agenda in Oklahoma?
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:
SECTION 1. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified
in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 5-603 of Title 29, unless there
is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:
The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission shall promulgate
rules establishing a big foot hunting season. The Commission shall
set annual season dates and create any necessary specific hunting
licenses and fees.
SECTION 2. This act shall become effective November 1, 2021.
House Bill 1648 was introduced by Justin Humphrey, a Republican representing state House District 19 in southeastern Oklahoma who serves on the Agriculture and Rural Development and the Public Safety committees. Humphrey was elected in 2016 after a career with the Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections. In 2020, Oklahoma was ranked #9 for most reported sightings per 100,000 people among U.S. states. The highest concentration of sightings is in the heavily wooded Kiamichi Mountains area in southeastern corner of the state, which, if you were paying attention, is Humphrey’s district. Hmm, could there be a connection?
“Are you interested in catching a glimpse of Bigfoot? Visit Broken Bow, located in southeast Oklahoma, and join the thousands of tourists who enjoy a good Sasquatch hunt every year. There are plenty of roadside shops in town selling products ranging from Bigfoot T-shirts and hats to yard signs and bath bombs, so even if you don’t catch a real sighting, you can go home with some nice souvenirs. The most common Bigfoot sightings happen after the sun has set, and Bigfoot field investigators use nutty bars and marbles to draw him in. Are you up for the hunt?”
Oklahoma 100, a bi-monthly e-newsletter focusing on Oklahoma, gushed about Broken Bow as a Bigfoot ground zero, but the use of ‘hunting’ was figurative, not literal or legal in the shoot-to-kill definition. That would change if House Bill 1648 is passed. Not only could one hunt and shoot Bigfoot there, Humphrey’s district would benefit from licenses, fees, hunting guides, cabin rentals, park fees, emergency trips to the ER and the like … not to mention the notoriety of possibly being the place where a real Bigfoot specimen is finally captured – dead or alive.
For those Bambi fans feeling shocked, repulsed and sad, this would not make Oklahoma the first or only state where hunting and killing Bigfoot is legal. In fact, its neighbor to the south is OK (not in the Oklahoma sense) with hunting Bigfoot into extinction.
“If the Commission does not specifically list an indigenous, nongame species, then the species is considered nonprotected nongame wildlife. A nonprotected nongame animal may be hunted on private property with landowner consent by any means, at any time and there is no bag limit or possession limit.”
David Sinclair, direction of the law enforcement division at Texas Parks and Wildlife, confirmed in 2012 that Bigfoot is always in season in Texas and there’s no limit to how many one can shoot. As someone who lived in Texas for decades and still follows the news there, this writer cannot recall any Texas hunter claiming to kill a Bigfoot, and accounts in other states have either been proven to be hoaxes or lack sufficient proof.
Will Representative Humphrey’s bill pass? If it does, will Oklahoma become the first state where a hunter comes home with a carcass of a real Bigfoot strapped to the hood of his or her pickup? Or will Oklahoma become the first state in years to show an increase in hunting as Bigfoot hunters flock to Broken Bow and beyond for the chance to shoot Sasquatch?
What would Bambi say?